March 21, 2005
Well, aside from the clearly disproved idea that poverty causes terrorism and the also disproved idea that meat consumption causes poverty, the always nearly-lucid Dr. Schwartz (math, not science or medicine) has this to say:
[In light of 9-11,] it might be thought that other considerations, such as dietary choices, are inappropriate and even offensive. However, it is essential that these senseless acts of terrorism not further impede the already fragile global efforts to cooperate in addressing the world’s pressing social, economic, and environmental threats. Perhaps we can look beyond the horror and productively utilize our current feelings of vulnerability and sadness.
Although seldom discussed, animal-based diets and agriculture constitute what Jeremy Rifkin called “cold evil,” a form of indirect, unconscious terrorism, which may also make future terrorism more likely. For a safer, more stable and sustainable world, it is essential that, along with other steps to defend against evil and irrational acts of terror, the effects of the mass production and widespread consumption of animal products be considered.…
Now consider the opportunity that a slaughterhouse provides to a bio-terrorist. US slaughterhouses have a very large turnover of undocumented aliens. It would be relatively easy for a bio-terrorist to enter the country legally or otherwise, join the slaughterhouse staff, and slip a powerful pathogen into a vat of ground meat destined for hamburgers or hot dogs (frequently eaten uncooked). The culprit would be long out of the country before the contaminated product reaches supermarket shelves and thousands of his victims begin dying. Anyone really concerned with anthrax or other form of bio-terrorism would be well advised to lay off meat and poultry for a while.
That ground beef is seldom eaten uncooked and that hot dogs and other sausages are almost always cooked during processing (what you do at home is essentially reheat them) has escaped the mathematically trained mind of Dr. Schwartz.
Oh, but there is more – so much more:
When we consider all of the negative effects of animal-based diets, it is clear that animal-centered diets and the livestock agriculture needed to sustain them pose tremendous threats to global survival and increase the potential for future terrorism.…It is not surprising that the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) ranks the consumption of meat and poultry as the second most harmful (to the environment) consumer activity (surpassed only by the use of cars and light trucks). It is clear that a shift toward vegetarianism is imperative to move our precious but imperiled planet away from its present catastrophic path and to reduce the potential for future terrorism.
Clear as a dim bulb in a foggy haze.
With the OU’s and other rabbinic leaders’ continued misbehavior, JVNA’s inane arguments, Rubashkin’s defense of throat-ripping as ‘shechita as it should be,’ Agudath Israel’s finding Nazis under every rock, and the USDA’s persistent stone-walling, the lone voice of sanity in this sad affair has turned out to be PETA’s.
May God save us.
(Hat tip: Sultan Knish.)